Online Encyclopedia

GAMUT (from the Greek letter gamma, u...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 450 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GAMUT (from the Greek letter gamma, used as a musical symbol, and ut, the first syllable of the medieval hymn Sanctus Johannes), a term in music used to mean generally the whole compass or range of notes possessed by an instrument or voice. Historically, however, the sense has developed from its stricter musical meaning of a scale (the recognized musical scale of any period), originating in the medieval " great scale," of which the invention has usually been ascribed to Guido of Arezzo (q.v.) in the 11th century. The whole question is somewhat obscure, but, in the evolution of musical notation out of the classical alphabetical system, the invention of the medieval gamut is more properly assigned to Hucbald (d. 930). In his system of scales the semitone was always between the 2nd and 3rd of a tetrachord, as G, A, 5 B, C, so the B and jr F of the second octave were in false relation to the b B and ; F of the first two tetrachords. To
End of Article: GAMUT (from the Greek letter gamma, used as a musical symbol, and ut, the first syllable of the medieval hymn Sanctus Johannes)
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